Jan 17, 2021 at 11am UK

Gil (50'), de Tomas (84')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Martinez (9'), Barja (29')
Gallego (34'), Budimir (45+1'), Martinez (51')

Preview: Espanyol vs. Osasuna - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Espanyol vs. Osasuna - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:430640: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Copa del Rey clash between Espanyol and Osasuna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Segunda Division leaders Espanyol will take on La Liga strugglers Osasuna in the Copa del Rey on Sunday morning, with a spot in the last-16 stage of the competition on offer.

Espanyol are flying high at the top of the second tier as they attempt to secure an immediate return to La Liga, but Osasuna are currently 19th in the top flight, having struggled for results this term.

Match preview

Espanyol finished bottom of La Liga last season to drop down a level for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign, but the Catalan outfit are seemingly on course to earn promotion back to the top flight.

Indeed, a strong season to date has left them at the top of the Segunda Division, having picked up 45 points from their 21 matches, suffering just four defeats and recording 14 victories.

Vicente Moreno's side will therefore enter this weekend's contest full of confidence and off the back of a 2-0 victory at home to Castellon in the league on January 10.

Espanyol needed extra-time to beat Llagostera in the first round of this season's Copa del Rey but recorded a 2-0 victory over Burgos last time out to ensure that they would be present at this stage.

The White and Blues have actually won this competition on four occasions, the last of which was in 2006, when they overcame Zaragoza in the final, but the club were knocked out in the round of 32 last term.

Osasuna, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a 2-0 defeat at Granada in La Liga, which has left them down in 19th position in the table, having picked up just 15 points from 18 matches.

Jagoba Arrasate's side held the champions Real Madrid to a goalless draw on January 9, though, and are only three points from safety in Spain's top flight, which is far from a disastrous position.

The top-flight club have also been impressive in this season's Copa del Rey, thumping Tomares 6-0 in the first round of the competition before recording a 3-0 victory away to Olot last time out.

Los Rojillos actually reached the final of this competition in 2005, ultimately losing to Real Betis, but they have only made the round of 16 once in their last three participations.

Osasuna have won their last two games against Espanyol, though, including a 4-2 victory when they made the trip to RCDE Stadium during the 2019-20 La Liga campaign.

Espanyol Copa del Rey form: LWWLWW
Espanyol form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Osasuna Copa del Rey form: WWWLWW
Osasuna form (all competitions): DDDWDL

Team News

Espanyol boss Moreno will make changes from the side that started the 2-0 win over Castellon in the league last weekend, with Raul de Tomas and Adri Embarba likely to drop out.

A strong team was selected in the previous round against Burgos, though, and the likes of Wu Lei, Fran Merida, Pol Lozano and Didac Vila should all be involved from the start on Sunday.

As for Osasuna, Darko Brasanac, Adrian Lopez, Ruben Martinez and Chimy Avila are all injured, while David Garcia will miss out through suspension.

Head coach Arrasate has also thus far selected a strong side in this competition, and there is no reason to believe that he will change this weekend, meaning that the likes of Roberto Torres, Oier, Enric Gallego and Ante Budimir should all be in the away side's starting XI.

There will be some alterations from the defeat to Granada, though, with Jonathan Calleri and Ruben Garcia both unlikely to be involved from the start.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
Oier; Miguelon, Calero, Lopez, Vila; Merida, Lozano; Wu Lei, Melamed, Vargas; Campuzano

Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Alvarez; Barja, U Garcia, Navas, Roncaglia; Torres, Martinez, Oier, Jony; Gallego, Budimir

We say: Espanyol 1-2 Osasuna

Osasuna have proved difficult to beat in recent weeks despite their troubles, and we fancy the top-flight club to just sneak past Espanyol despite the fact that the hosts have been in impressive form this season.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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